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Basic Income: Turning the Concept into Practice

As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, we take a look at ways to turn the basic income concept into a practical scheme.

The idea of a basic income is becoming increasingly popular both within and outside the UK. It is a policy with many variants which includes components that are relevant for both moderate and radical reforms.

This event aims to illustrate ways to turn the basic income concept into a practical scheme, with emphasis on a revenue-neutral implementation. Invited speakers will present recent research related to the estimated fiscal and distributional effects of the implementation of such schemes and the mechanisms that drive these results.

Examples of relevant research include Atkinson et al. (2017), Browne and Immervoll (2017) and Torry (2017).

The presentations will be followed by a roundtable discussion on the strengths and weaknesses of a revenue-neutral basic income introduction.

Essex expertise at the ESRC Research Methods Festival 2018

Professor Mike Brewer and Professor Annette Jäckle from ISER and Professor Maria Fasli from the Institute for Analytics and Data Science present sessions at the national biennial conference on innovations in social science research methods

Monday Afternoon Seminar: George B. Ploubidis


The 20th century witnessed significant improvements in health in most countries including substantial increases in survival to older ages and large reductions in late age mortality. The continuing rise in life expectancy is undoubtedly one of the great successes of public health, but has also raised the question of how healthily the gained years of life will be spent. We use data from UK’s birth cohorts, other longitudinal studies and repeated cross sectional surveys to investigate competing theories of the joint progress of health and mortality. Sullivan’s method and regression based approaches were employed exploiting their different underlying assumptions to empirically test the compression, expansion and dynamic equilibrium of morbidity hypotheses. We found evidence for expansion of morbidity in the working age population, whereas a more complex pattern emerged in the older population, indicating a potential structural break between generations. The opportunities and challenges of employing longitudinal and life course studies to empirically test competing theories of ageing and the implications of the recent slowdown in the increase of life expectancy in the UK will be discussed.

George is Professor of Population Health and Statistics at the UCL Department of Social Science and currently holds the posts of Director of Research and Chief Statistician at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies. Prior to joining UCL he held posts at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Cambridge.

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